U.S. mulls to boost people-to-people relations with ASEAN countries

08:51, June 11, 2010      

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The visiting director general of U. S. think tank center, East-West Center, Dr. Satu P. Limaye said on Thursday that the center intends to improve relations between communities living in the United States and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

"We will draft a curriculum, to be submitted to colleges and other educational institutions in ASEAN countries, aimed at nurturing people-to-people relations, improving the understanding among youths in the two regions," Dr. Satu told a press conference to launch a website that provides progress data ASEAN-U.S. relations in the ASEAN Secretariat premises here.

Dr. Satu said ASEAN has been a significant region important to the United States since it has been a significant market for the country in Asia.

With its stability and impressive economic growth among countries in Southeast Asia region, Dr. Satu said ASEAN will become key player in global economy in the future.

ASEAN region now is the third largest economy in Asia, after China and Japan, with rapid Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth at 170 percent in the past decade, Dr. Satu said.

Meanwhile, ASEAN Secretary General Dr. Surin Sinawatra said that developing people-to-people relations between the two regions is very important to develop long term mutual benefit from trade and business aspects that can be sourced by the two economies.

"Let the youths handle this relationship in the future, continuing what the governments had done excellently at the moment," Dr. Surin said.

The United States has been an important market for ASEAN countries with the region's total export recorded at 115 billion U. S. dollars in 2008, while U.S. export to the region reached 66 billion U.S. dollars in the same year.

Source: Xinhua
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